Where to stay in Shanghai

Two stylish Art Deco hotels in central Shanghai.

Pudi Boutique Hotel

What's so special

Pudi means residence of a high official' and this hotel in central Shanghai certainly lives up to its name. It is situated in an old-fashioned corner building among the high-rises and is a homage to Art Deco and 1930s Soviet style. As such it offers guests a sense of authenticity that the chain hotels lack.

How they rate it

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The Pudi sits in the "geographic, cultural and social heart of the city", says Ellen Himelfarb in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. Inside it's clear that the hotel's French interior designer had funds. "Beds, draped in high-thread-count linens and Chinese silks, are bathed in sexy amber light, as are the huge bathrooms." The rooms have enormous in-room entertainment centres and "skilfully stocked" bars. Make sure to visit the rooftop patio for the incredible views.

The menu

The hotel's restaurant offers a range of dishes from around the world, including refined French cuisine and Asian fusion dishes.

The cost

Prices for a double room start from £145, B&B. For more information visit www.boutiquehotel.cc or call 00 86 21 5158 5888.

Pei Mansion Hotel


What's so special

Built in 1934, this Art Deco mansion lay derelict for years until it was recently restored to its 1930s glory and opened as a hotel. Despite a central location just behind Nanjing Road, the hotel has a peaceful atmosphere that allows guests to escape the craziness of Shanghai.

How they rate it

This hotel offers a "sedate slice of yesteryear", says Tom O'Malley in The Guardian. The elegant lobby "serves as a mini museum to the era, crammed with period furnishings, sepia-tinted photos, opium pipes, gramophones, clocks and large wood-framed mirrors." The hotel has 25 rooms all decorated in 1930s Shanghai Art Deco style with marble bathrooms and lattice wood panelling. But it still has all the modern touches and in-room technology one would expect from a modern hotel. "The Chinese rockery garden evokes a pleasing sense of serenity given the downtown location."

The menu

The hotel's restaurant is a collection of private dining rooms in which you can enjoy specialities from numerous parts of China, including Cantonese dishes and excellent seafood.

The cost

Doubles cost from £133, B&B. Find out more at www.peimansionhotel.com or call 00 86 21 6289 7878.

What the travel writers are saying

Water parks make for perfect family holidays. Here are four of the best, according to Ben Ross in The Independent.

"If Walt Disney World Florida feels, well, a world away, then stay closer to home at Splash Landings" within Alton Towers in Staffordshire. It has a Caribbean theme and has a water park with a "lazy river" (an amusement ride), a "Bubbly Wubbly Pool", and the Master Blaster rollercoaster. Rooms cost from £29.75 and tickets to the waterpark cost £12.50 (Altontowers.com).

For something on a larger scale try Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. It is an enormous, 1,539-room resort and the water park features the Leap of Faith' ride, a 27.5-metre, near-vertical drop which ends by blasting you through a clear tunnel in a lagoon full of sharks. Rooms cost from £300 and tickets to the park are included (Atlantisthepalm.com).

Aquamania is Thomas Cook's water park at the Caretta Beach Hotel in Zante, Greece. It has children's clubs and entertainment alongside the pools and flumes. "Take your pick from six adventure slides, a wave pool, lazy river and splash play area." A seven-night, all-inclusive stay costs from £2,081 for a family of three with return flights (Thomascook.com).

The subtropical swimming paradise' at Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest has rapids, flumes and lazy rivers within strolling distance of your "swish" self-catering villa. Three night breaks start from £399 for a two-bedroom villa (Centreparks.co.uk).